Chosen for Winter 2019/20 People’s Book Prize Collection for Non-Fiction.
- Why are so many trapped in poverty, when others are grossly well-off?
- Why are house prices continuously rising faster than inflation?
- Why do people so often find themselves in jobs that give them little sense of fulfilment?
- Why is a multi-national coffee shop franchise not actually making its money from coffee?
These questions have confronted the UK economy for decades without resolution by governments of the right or left. It is the failure of economics, the author argues.
Economists have long asserted that three factors of production, land, labour and capital, lie at the root of their subject. Yet in the development of the subject into theories and practical applications there has been a thorough analysis of labour and capital but a grievous omission of the factor of land. This is reflected in the minimal place it holds in modern textbooks, in popular discussion and political debate. Much of the argument about major issues, like industrial policy, the distribution of wealth and income and government policy reverts to a polarised struggle between two antagonists, labour and capital. The third factor, land, hides in the background unacknowledged yet exerting a major influence on the outcome of the whole economic process.
What needs to change, the author argues, are deeply embedded features, which have generally been established for a very long time. They are principally the taxation system, the land tenure system, and the banking system. This can be initiated through a reform of taxation.
Brian Hodgkinson qualified as a chartered accountant in the City of London, then won a scholarship to Oxford where he took a first in Philosophy, Politics and Economics and won the George Webb Medley Prize in Economics. Subsequently he taught Philosophy in the Social Studies School at Sussex University, before switching to teaching Economics in Sixth Forms. As the founder editor of British Economy Survey, he kept in touch with applied economics and questions of public policy. He is the author of A New Model of the Economy, The Advancement of Civilisation in the Western World and several other books.
Introduction, Rent, Wages, Capital, Structure of Industry, Property, Taxation, Public Expenditure, Money, Banking and Interest, Transport, Housing, Public Utilities, Retailing, Agriculture, Foreign Trade and Investment, Historical Outline, Economic Justice.